Land-Based US Casinos Reverse Stance on Online Poker
Since the United States government imposed the UIGEA in 2006, land-based casinos have, for the most part, held a strong stance against legalizing any form of online gambling in the US. Four years later, that attitude seems to be turning around as more and more casinos would like to integrate at least online poker into their current commodities.
This comes according to a report in the New York Times that states Sebastian Sinclair, a gambling industry analyst, foresees a change of heart from most live casino operators. Even Wynn Resorts, one of the industry’s biggest opponents of online gambling legalization, is changing its stance on the issue.
Sinclair says that the stakes involved are high enough to change the position of any casino business that wishes see exponential growth in the future. If you take a look at the largest online poker operator, PokerStars, based in the Isle of Man, that company alone has estimated annual revenue of $1 billion according to commentary from New York consulting firm, Poker Analytics.
“When any industry is confronted with something of this nature, a game changer that is a paradigm shift,” said Sebastian Sinclair, “the first reaction is to circle the wagons to protect your business. But then, that changes over time.”
The New York Times report says that with the standpoint shifting towards the acceptance of online gambling, Harry Reid (D-Nev), Senate Majority Leader, is also shifting in favor of legalizing online poker. It should be interesting to see what kind of legislation is proposed towards decriminalizing online gambling in the near future, and just how many congressmen may begin to rethink their previous votes against legalization of gambling over the internet.
The new legislation expected to be proposed will likely be a lot less tolerant than previous bills suggested by Representative Barney Frank (D-Mass), who has pushed to legalize all forms of online gambling outside of online sports betting. Frank’s position would legalize such online gambling activities at the federal level while allowing each state to enforce its own laws on what forms of online gambling would or would not be permitted within its borders.
Harrah’s casino chain has been all for the legalization of online poker, as have many casino operators across California. Now that the majority of foremost casino brands in Nevada have joined in the deportment, it may be only a matter of time before Americans find familiar trademarks launching online poker rooms all across the world wide web.